of the horse and rider loomed suddenly out of the dark,
almost upon the group, and the rider slid out of his saddle.
"Well?" Doctor MacDonald demanded.
"Not a thing," the rider reported, "not a thing stirring.
We walked round uptown and down by the warehouses, and
watched the train come in. Not a thing stirring."
" Ah!" Doctor MacDonald said, with a gentle and sibilant
exhalation of his breath. Then he took his watch from his
pocket, and struck a match against his trousers. Shielding
the flame with his cupped hand, he peered at the watch, and,
briefly, his long, bony face was illuminated. " Eight minutes
to twelve/' he asserted matter-of-factly, and extinguished the
match. Then; " Mr. Murphy, Mr. Sykes., we're ready." Two
of the men who had been standing beside him at the edge of
the lane turned abruptly into the darkness of the thicket, and
with a crackling and trampling of leaves and dry elder stalks,
led out their horses.
"Tell Mr. Sills to move in/' Doctor MacDonald ordered.
"Tell him to hit the bottom of Jefferson Street as near to
twelve-thirty as he can. He knows what to do from that
point. And "-—he turned to the other man, who had already
mounted—"Mr. Sykes, you tell Mr. Murdock to hit the
Cherry Creek bridge at the same time. He knows, then. But
tell them not to touch a wire till five minutes before they
move in. That's all."
The two men wheeled, lifted their horses into a gallop, and
almost immediately, long before the sound of hoofs had faded
out, were lost in the darkness. Doctor MacDonald peered
after them, then directed: "All right, Mr. Mosely, tell Mr.
Hamer to start. And to make them keep formation all the
The figure of a man moved from the edge of the elder
thicket, crossed the lane, and entered the grove on the other
Doctor MacDonald began to sing again, very softly, almost
tunelessly: "Rock of ages, cleft for me, let me Hde myself
in Thee, let the water-----"